This was my first Paul Torday read and I'm sorry to say that it will probably be my last...
Ed Hartlepool returns to his family home to face up to his responsibilities after years of being abroad in tax exile. To his shock, there are many debts and the only way out to his sell the property for redevelopment. There is also the matter of the 'mysterious' Lady Alice who has suddenly started living at the house and his old friend Annabel, who is stuck living with her grumpy old father.
Although the book is easy to read, the dialogue is terrible and the characters are all unlikeable and unrealistic. They are caricatures of wealthy stereotypes who have no idea about the real world and I wonder if the author does too. I couldn't work out if it was supposed to be a comedy or a study of the upper classes, either way it did not make me laugh and there were some hugely frustrating parts of the story, for example Annabel's reaction to a major event in her life.
The only part of the book I warmed to, was the description of Hartlepool Hall itself, but unfortunately the main parts of the story did not seem to have any resolution. A very strange and frustrating read.